Relative Viscosity Model for Oil/Water Stable Emulsion Flow within Electrical Submersible Pumps

by Natan Augusto Vieira Bulgarelli, Jorge Luiz Biazussi, William Monte Verde, Carlos Eduardo Perles, Marcelo Souza de Castro, Antonio Carlos Bannwart, published at Chemical Engineering Science, December 2021, 116827


Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP) have been used in several scenarios, including water/crude oil emulsion production. The estimation of the emulsion effective viscosity within the ESP is still under discussion due to its complex flow behavior. This work proposes, for the first time, a model to predict the relative viscosity of stable emulsion within an ESP considering the continuous phase properties and ESP operational parameters. The viscosity model was compared to the relative viscosity models for emulsion flow in pipelines and the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) was 14% and 8% for the stable emulsions without and with demulsifier, respectively. For the same emulsion systems, the relative viscosity model was applied to the unidimensional model to predict the ESP performance with the MAPE of 4% and 2% for the stable emulsions without and with demulsifier, respectively. Furthermore, ESP head degradation operating with stable emulsion with and without demulsifier was investigated experimentally.


Access the full paper